Saturday, March 13, 2010

Bracketology 101's Field of 65 - March 13

As expected, the bubble picture cleared up a bit on Friday. San Diego State and Georgia Tech both locked down their bids, while Virginia Tech and Florida moved closer to the bubble and onto our Last Five In list. We used a Last Five In list today (instead of the traditional Last Four In list) because those five teams are the only ones who we could see not making the final bracket if things break a certain way over the weekend.

The Big Ten was the big winner overall on Friday. Minnesota and Illinois were added to our latest bracket, while Mississippi State and Tulsa were removed. The Gophers and Illini both pulled off upsets on Friday, and they are now in position to lock up their bids with wins in the Big Ten semis. As long as Washington is not blown out by Cal, we like the Huskies' chances for a bid as well. The last thing that Virginia Tech needed was a bad loss to close out the season, but that's what happened against Miami. The Hokies just need to hope now that the Miami or N.C. State does not win the ACC tourney and they should be safe on Sunday.

With UTEP now in the C-USA final, we were forced to abandon our C-USA bid-stealer. The opportunity for bid-stealers still exists in the WAC and C-USA, but we just don't see it happening with the way that Utah State and UTEP have played. The only other spot where a bid-stealer is still possible is in the ACC, with N.C. State and Miami still being alive. The only teams that we do not currently have in who we could see getting an at-large still are Mississippi State and Rhode Island. If URI can get by Temple on Saturday, they would put themselves in good shape for an at-large. Mississippi State, meanwhile, picked up a big win over Florida on Friday, which means a win in the semis over Vanderbilt would probably be enough to warrant a bid. If the Bulldogs do find a way to win on Saturday, then Florida fans need to be worried about the Gators' at-large chances.

The biggest seed climbers after Friday's results were Georgetown moving from a 4 to a 3, Tennessee and Vanderbilt going from 5s to 4s, Cal and UNLV going from 9s to 7s, and SDSU going from a 12 to a 10. The biggest declines were Michigan State going from a 3 to a 5, Maryland dropping from a 4 to a 5, and Marquette and Florida State going from 7s to 9s.

We will now go into weekend lockdown mode and will release our final bracket on Sunday afternoon. For the first time in the history of Bracketology 101, Chris and Craig will be together on Sunday to complete their final bracket. Hopefully the two minds being together in the same room on Selection Sunday will lead to going 65/65 for the first time ever and once again seeding at least 60 teams within one spot of their seed line and at least 40 teams exactly on their seed.

The Breakdown
Last Five In
Virginia Tech, Florida, Washington, Minnesota, Illinois

Last Four Out
Rhode Island, Mississippi State, Seton Hall, Arizona State

Next Four Out
South Florida, Mississippi, William & Mary, Memphis


Conference Breakdown
Big East (8), ACC (7), Big 12 (7), Big Ten (6), MWC (4), SEC (4), A-10 (3), Pac-10 (2), WCC (2)

America East - Vermont

ACC - Duke, Maryland, Clemson, Florida State, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech

Atlantic Sun - East Tennessee State

A-10 - Temple, Xavier, Richmond

Big East - Syracuse, West Virginia, Villanova, Georgetown, Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Marquette, Louisville

Big Sky - Montana

Big South - Winthrop

Big Ten - Purdue, Ohio State, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois

Big 12 - Kansas, Kansas State, Baylor, Texas A&M, Texas, Oklahoma State, Missouri

Big West - UC-Santa Barbara

Colonial - Old Dominion

Conference USA

Horizon - Butler

Ivy - Cornell

MAAC - Siena

MAC - Akron

MEAC - Morgan State

MVC - Northern Iowa

- New Mexico, BYU, UNLV, San Diego State

Northeast - Robert Morris

Ohio Valley - Murray State

- California, Washington

Patriot - Lehigh

- Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Florida

Southern - Wofford

- Sam Houston State

Summit - Oakland

Sun Belt - North Texas

- Arkansas-Pine Bluff

WAC - Utah State

WCC - St. Mary's, Gonzaga


The Seeds
The 1s

Kansas, Kentucky, Duke, Syracuse

The 2s
Purdue, West Virginia, Ohio State, Kansas State

The 3s
Temple, Villanova, Georgetown, New Mexico

The 4s
Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Vanderbilt, Wisconsin

The 5s
Baylor, Michigan State, Butler, Maryland

The 6s
Texas A&M, Xavier, Richmond, BYU

The 7s
Gonzaga, Texas, California, UNLV

The 8s
Northern Iowa, Oklahoma State, Clemson, Notre Dame

The 9s
Marquette, Florida State, Missouri, St. Mary's

The 10s
Utah State, Wake Forest, Old Dominion, UTEP

The 11s
San Diego State, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech

The 12s
Florida, Washington, Minnesota

The 13s
Illinois, Siena, Murray State, Oakland

The 14s
Akron, Wofford, UC-Santa Barbara, Montana

The 15s
Sam Houston State, Morgan State, North Texas, Vermont

The 16s
East Tennessee State, Winthrop, Robert Morris, Lehigh
(Play-In Game), Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Play-In Game)

The Bracket
(Bracket courtesy Matt Reeves)

Questions? Comments? E-mail Bracketology 101 at


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Anonymous said...

If you count GT as a decent ACC team, then you have to count Clemson and FSU as a decent ACC team. It seems like it has become as fashionable to beat up on the ACC as it has to praise the Big East. How horrible that they might be only the third best conference this year! Off with their heads!

As for the person bagging on the ACC for VT's record, they actually were 4th in the league, and that accounts purely for raw won-loss record and does NOT account for schedule. In the era of unbalanced schedule, you really can spring a trap on yourself by trying to make broad pronouncements based on nothing more than the superficial record.

The weak non-conference schedule is hurting Virginia Tech, but what is really killing them is that they played Duke, MD, FSU, WF, Clemson, and GT a combined 6 times while playing the dregs of the ACC ten times. Depending on how you look at it VT is either benefiting from the unbalanced schedule (because that was probably the only way they get to 10 conference wins) or being killed by it (their 10 conference wins are thin because they only played the ACC's tourney teams 6 times - although they did go 3-3 against that bunch).

Anonymous said...

Don't hold the committee to their word on any factor - they don't hold themselves to it. Assuming this is like every other year, the committee chairman in his post-bracket interviews will give reasoning that shifts depending on the team and that can be wildly inconsistent.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to B101 for all their hard work.

Lunardi is making a bigger fool of himself today than ever.

Show him up as usual.

Anonymous said...

9:20, Lunardi and B101 look pretty similar as far as their last four in & last four out.

Anonymous said...

Cal's resume isn't great but it's better than UTEP's. You can't put UTEP in and leave Cal out.

That said, both teams will be in.

mag900 said...

i like how all the talking heads keep on saying how the bubble is so weak this year and completely ignore the fact that ALL of college basketball was the worst it has been in decades. i'm waiting for just 1 talking head to say "forget about the bubble, the entire country really sucked this year."

any of the final 4 teams last year plus pitt would destroy the field this year.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where I can find non-conference SOS RPI ratings? I've searched the net but can't find non-con SOS. I think that's an important criteria for the committee.


Anonymous said...

OU bobcats baby! Lowest seed to win the MAC tourney! By beating Akron do they take their spot on the 14 line or with their record of 21-14, do they move to the 15? Can you imagine if Armon Bassett(Ohio) and Jordan Crawford (Xavier) had stayed at Indiana? May have been worth something this year...

Bracketology 101 said...

We'd like to drop Purdue from the 2 line but who do you put there? Temple, Villanova, G'town, New Mexico, Pitt?? The pickings are slim.

Bracketology 101 said...

Ohio will likely be the top 15, but they may sneak on the bottom of our 14 line.

TCM said...

How it is no one has Louisville on the bubble? Not ranked in the top 25. 2 -3 in their last 5 games. 5 - 9 on the road. Most losses of any team in the RPI top 60 with 12. 17 of their 20 wins are outside the RPI top 60. 6 losses to teams outside the RPI top 50. I get that they beat the Cuse twice, but they did nothing else.

Anonymous said...

Maybe if Temple wins tomorrow they will get a #2?

Haha, just wishful thinking for an Owls fan.

--Dan G.

Bracketology 101 said...

There is no way that Cal doesn't make it, we wouldn't be shocked if UTEP got left out.

Anonymous said...

Cal's resume is very, very bad. I'd think that in the Big East they would finish maybe 11th?

Derek said...

B101 is Utach St that much of a "lock"? They only have 1 real good win and a few questionable loses. Can you really keep them in over teams like Va Tech or Illinois?

Bracketology 101 said...

We think Utah State is in over UTEP so we really see no way that they don't get in.

Anonymous said...

The ACC is not the best conference in the country. Not even close. It is one good team (Duke), two decent teams (Maryland and GT), and then a bunch of average or sub par teams. All the ACC teams are going to flame out in the NCAA tourney.

You realize the "decent" team you said (GT) was the 7th seed?

Anonymous said...

Utah State is losing by 5 under 4 minutes. This might be a problem.

Anonymous said...

pomeroy also ranks the ACC #1 because of beating down on bad teams, thus the differential between Sagarin & RPI. Sagarin factors in both methods moreso, so it's probably the best indicator. the ACC is #3

Can you explain what "beating down on bad teams" means?

Anonymous said...

it would send a bad message to teams if Va Tech is rewarded for playing a weak non-cofnerence schedule. Teams should be rewarded for testing themselves early. Va Tech beat up on cupcakes.

No, it would send a bad message if superior teams were left out of the tourney because the committee members had an agenda on how they thought teams should do their schedule.

Anonymous said...

Lots of bubble teams with terrible win totals vs the top 50. Going to be very interesting to see what the committee does tomorrow. Yes Cal won the Pac-10 but they are 1-5 vs the top 50 and their best OOC win is Murray State.

UTEP's top 2 wins are against UAB.

Utah State has a nice win against BYU and?

Anonymous said...

Utah State is going to lose.

mag900 said...

the concept that the committee evaluates a team's ENTIRE body of work is not that complicated. if s team (va tech) chooses to play a joke of an OOC schedule knowing that it would get plenty of good teams to play in conference, it can do that and get a bid, provided that it beats the cupcakes and wins plenty of games in conference.

the margin for error in conference is much smaller when you schedule like this and 8-8 in conference likely wouldn't get a bid. however, va tech went 10-6 so it's going to get a bid. we aren't talking about a 1 seed -- just a bid -- and they are getting one. why is this still being discussed?

Anonymous said...

That is a very valid point about Virginia Tech. Their computer numbers are a lot like the 2009 Nittany Lions. The Hokies might be left out in favor of a team that played a tougher OOC schedule. Maybe VT will schedule tougher teams next year.

VT has 2 top 100 OOC wins, Georgia and Seton hall, and also played Iowa and Penn state, along with temple. You can't "punish" a team for bad scheduling when they played 4 BCS conference schools, and a likely 3 seed.

Here is the difference between the 2 teams... PSU did NOTHING OOC, their best win was either a 12-19 GT team, or Mount St. Marys. VT played temple, and 4 other major conference schools, going 4-1 in those games. Then, PSU went 10-8 in conference, finishing EIGHTH.

Vt finished tied for third.

The reason the RPI and Sagarin are so "down" on the ACC is that the ACC is full of very good teams, only one of which is elite. RPI ratings thrive on elite-ness. Sagarin's ratings thrive on elite-ness. The big east and Big 10 are incredibly top heavy, and the ACC is incredibly deep. Don't sleep on maryland as an elite team, however, Greivis Vazquez is the type of player that can lead a team to a final four.

Anonymous said...

As for the person bagging on the ACC for VT's record, they actually were 4th in the league, and that accounts purely for raw won-loss record and does NOT account for schedule.

*They actually tied for third.

Anonymous said...

B101, do you really see any way to move Temple up to a 2 seed? Does a win tomorrow open up that possibility? What else needs to happen.

/hopeful owls fan...

Anonymous said...

the concept that the committee evaluates a team's ENTIRE body of work is not that complicated. if s team (va tech) chooses to play a joke of an OOC schedule knowing that it would get plenty of good teams to play in conference, it can do that and get a bid, provided that it beats the cupcakes and wins plenty of games in conference.

It's actually ridiculous, the double standard at work here... THe big conferences, in both football and basketball, tend to schedule nobodies OOC, because they get roughed up in conference. In Football, no one cares. In basketball, teams are sent looking for the nearest stake to be burned at.

Dan Holmes said...

I would be enjoying this even more if I didn't know that the Sword of Damocles of tournament expansion was hovering above at all times.

Anonymous said...

Agree with dan... Can you imagine if we were on here comparing the resumes of Texas Tech and Charlotte?

Bracketology 101 said...

Things are starting to get really interesting. Now the big question turns to how the committee wants to treat the mid-majors.

Here is how UTEP and Utah State compare:

WAC is rated 10th, C-USA is rated 11th.

Utah St. is 26-7, UTEP is 26-6.

Both teams have 2 top 50 RPI wins, but Utah State has the better win.

Utah State will likely end up with an RPI around 30, and UTEP is at 39 right now.

Anonymous said...

None of VT-UTEP-Utah State did anything OOC of much note... So which is more impressive, 14-2 in the WAC, 15-1 in CUSA, or 10-6 in the ACC? I think we all know that the answer is 10-6 in the ACC.

Kevin said...

What seed is New Mexico State looking at? 13?

Anonymous said...

You can stick a fork in Illinois. And for that, I thank NMSU.

Anonymous said...

Utah State got 4 top 100 RPI wins OOC including over BYU. Nothing. Ha. Congrats to the WAC for sending two teams and saving us from watching some big 10 hack school get killed by 30 in a 5/12 game.

Dan Holmes said...

I find it interesting that ESPN's Bubble Watch has had UTEP in "Lock" status for quite some time now.

Anonymous said...

Fine, Utah stat has ONE good win, BYU, vs 3 for VT, and 3 of Utah State's top 100 wins are Weber State, Weber State, and Morehead state

Anonymous said...

After closely following all of these bubble teams for so long, I am actually more interested in the results of their head to head matchups in the NIT than the NCAA tournament.

Seton Hall, Illinois, Rhode Island and Ole Miss should be a great final four.

Anonymous said...

WAC could never match up with the bigten. Illinois would at least give a 5 seed a fight. Utah State just lost to nmsu. Illinois won against 6 top 25 teams. BYU? Good win. NOT

Anonymous said...

Predictions... Illinois and minnesota get in. UF-VT are OUT, MSU-Seton Hall are in.

Anonymous said...

PAC 10 doesn't deserve 2 bids. Cal has a terrible resume.

Anonymous said...

anonymous 12:29 you gotta take 2 more teams out buddy not that many spots left with bid-steals today. Unless your taking out utep or utah state.

Anonymous said...

I'll take SHU out.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:29 - Seton Hall would have been in if UTEP and Utah State won today. Not anymore though, even though their resume is probably still better than each.

Anonymous said...

Oy.. Talk about NOTHING on your OOC, Seton hall has Cornell, loss to temple, and ONE other team above .500, 182nd ranked st peters(still higher than IOWA, PSU, Indiana).

Anonymous said...

And as mag900 said, OOC is not a be-all end-all, actually nothing near that.

Anonymous said...

And as mag900 said, OOC is not a be-all end-all, actually nothing near that.

Then VT is in, no questions asked.

Anonymous said...

Yes. We were talking about Seton Hall. Virginia Tech was not brought up.

Anonymous said...

Luinardi was just on college basketball final saying Virgina Tech and Minnesota his last 2 in and Mississippi State, Florida, Illinois are the last 3 out.

Anonymous said...

Lunardi always seems to get insider information at some point every year and his bracket magically becomes more accurate. I don't remember when that normally happens, though.

Bracketology 101 said...

Lunardi seemed to have inside info a few years ago when he had Arkansas. He definetely doesn't get any inside info on seeds.

AG said...

B101, how much would you say the "look at all that talent" factor play a role in the selection committee's thinking?

Anonymous said...

If last year's exclusion of St. Mary's with Patty Mills back says anything, I'd venture to say not as much as you'd think.

They're all bubbles said...

Just one quick comment. I am so sick and tired of hearing supporters of major conferences and those teams (VT, MSU, etc.) say such and such mid-major would not do well in our major conference, or that the BCS team would win X mid-major conference easily. Do you really know that? I have watched a lot of these teams, and you know what? I can't see a whole lot of difference. They are bubble teams for a reason. I am willing to bet you can swap them all and the results would not be much different at all.

The committee has an extremely difficult task with these teams. I am excited to see how it all plays out.

Anonymous said...

They're all bubbles - Yes, I do know that some of these schools would not do well in a conference like the Big East. In fact, some aren't even mid-majors. Washington and California would finish no higher than 11th in the Big East.

Rainmaker203 said...

When I kept seeing everyone having UTEP in the 8/9 game and Utah State on the last four in list tonight, I thought I was the only one noticing the Aggies' profile was actually better. Yet another example of you guys being superior to the competition.

apissedant said...

I would like to point out that Illinois beat Wisconsin TWICE this year. They won 2 out of 3.

You cannot chalk it up to simply a bad day for Wisconsin if it happened TWICE. That makes two bad days, and significantly decreases the odds that the losses were simply a few bad days.

Illinois has an overall unimpressive record for a bubble team, and only 5 wins against tournament teams. They also have a couple of bad losses.

B101 and the analysts at ESPN are right, they are out. Illinois waited to long to try and make a case, and a couple other key teams made much better late cases, without the unimpressive regular season record.

apissedant said...

How many seasons back did you have to go to make the claim that Illinois beat 6 top 25 teams?

I count 5 tournament bound wins... 4 against top 25, and only 3 different teams since they beat Wisconsin twice. Of course that is using AP or Coaches poll. It might be worse using the RPI, because the RPI does not treat the B10 well this year (for good reason. One of the few things I agree with the RPI on).

Anonymous said...

Apiss, I only count 3 top 25 RPI wins, Vandy, Wisky and Wisky. And one of those is wisky without leuer. And 4 losses to 100+ teams.

apissedant said...

Minnesota is definitely a lock. I can't believe anyone is debating them. Yes, their regular season stats are comparable to Illinois, but it doesn't matter. They have 5 wins against tournament bound teams, just like Illinois, but...

They're in the Big 10 championship game.

They embarrassed now #4 (in my opinion) seed Purdue.

They have 2 fewer losses.

Their OOC wins are more impressive (win vs. butler on neutral court instead of shouldn't be ranked Vanderbilt at home).

They won the head to head game.

Case closed. Minnesota in, Illinois out.

I think Illinois is better than a lot of bubble teams that will end up making it, but giving a mediocre conference a 6th spot, denying the PAC 10 a 2nd spot, and giving a team with 14 losses a spot... it just isn't going to happen.

apissedant said...

They have a win against MSU, too.

apissedant said...

Oh, the MSU win was without Lucas. Another reason Illinois doesn't look too good. 2 of their 5 good wins were against teams minus a key player.

They're quality, just not quality enough to do anything in the NCAA tournament. I'll add them to Seton Hall and URI as a team I think has good odds in the NIT.

apissedant said...


As to your comment at 11:21 last night, why not Temple or Butler? 'Nova was terrible down the stretch, so you really can't give them a 2. UNM is unimpressive in my opinion, especially on the back of the most recent loss. Pitt got owned by ND twice, has too many overall losses, and only looks ok down the stretch because they had a very weak schedule to end the season.

Temple is likely to win their conference, has a better overall record, has a great record down the stretch, can excuse two losses with a Fernandez injury, and came very close against Georgetown. Honestly they gave that game to Georgetown.

The only real embarrassment on their record is the trouncing by KU and and the loss to SJU, both of which happened over 2 months ago.

Butler is undefeated this year and will win their conference. They have two good wins, no embarrassing losses, a phenomenal overall record, and two very good wins. As everyone knows I'm not a big fan of mid-major conferences or mediocre schedules, but in this case I would take the unproven mid-major over the proven mediocre big conference team.

Whoever gets the spot, they will most definitely be the most likely 2nd round #2 upset team.

Jefferson said...

Apissedant and B101,

Why not Georgetown as the last #2, they have the #1 strength of schedule which helps explain the overall number of losses, I believe the may have the best OOC SOS but since those numbers arne't easily found I can't back that up. They beat Duke, Syracuse, and just lost a nail bitter to WVU in the BE tournament championship last night, they also beat Butler (NC), Temple, Pitt (at pitt) and Villanova. Of course they have some bad losses Rutgers being the worse but Freeman was playing with undiagnosed diabetes when they went 1 and four down the stretch, doesn't the trashing of Cincy, USF, and Marquette and the victory of Syracuse maybe get them the last two seed. Also no chance they lose in the second round.

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